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Research Reveals Large Amount of Forest Lost to Selective Logging
January 22, 2017
There is an urgent need to find a solution to protect the remaining intact forests in the Congo Basin, while also respecting the rights of forest dependent and indigenous communities. Unless new conservation approaches are developed, these forests will be lost within this century.
New research published last Friday by a team of experts led by University of Maryland professor Peter Potapov reveals that between 2000 and 2013 so-called “selective” logging accounted for 77% of Africa’s total loss of Intact Forest Landscapes (IFLs). Home to millions of forest-dependent people, IFLs are reservoirs of biodiversity. These IFL’s are not only the greatest terrestrial storage of carbon, they are also far more resilient to natural disturbance and effects of climate change than smaller forest areas.
Africa lost 101 000 km2, which is 10% of its IFL area (an area larger than Portugal) of which more than 90% was lost in the Congo Basin. At the current pace, all Congo Basin countries except DRC, will lose all of their IFLs within the next 60 years.